artificial feeding-Terri Schiavo - page 67

I posted this here becaue I think this subject is something that we as nurses deal with on a regular basis.....Many many people state that they have a big problem with the feeding being stopped... Read More

  1. by   Benedikta
    Quote from Dixiecup
    Contrary to popular belief, if the feeding tube was removed she would not starve to death but die of dehydration. Dehydration is a peaceful and painless death.I did a hugh research paper on this subject and people are misinformed.
    Dehydration is a painless death? I don't know what science says about this and I've never done a hugh research paper on this subject but I did suffer serious dehydration once and let me tell you, it was anything but peaceful and painless. I don't think my stomach has ever been so upset nor have I ever vomited so violently in my life. My entire body felt as if I had been run over by a truck and every bone left broken. My head hurt so badly I felt it had been split open. May God grant her rest.
  2. by   VivaLasViejas
    He doesn't have to 'allow' her parents to have a Mass of Christian Burial.....they can do this in their home parish church if they want to, and he can't do a thing about it. I'm sure their priest knows the circumstances and would not deny Terri her right to a Catholic service, with or without her actual body present. Michael Schiavo doesn't have to be a part of it, and he certainly can't forbid it.

    If for no other reason, I'm glad Terri has quit this old earth because she is now free of his control and in the arms of the One who loves her utterly and unselfishly.
  3. by   widow2RN
    Quote from Tweety
    I'm not sure it was fear he was seeing. I think at that point, she wasn't really feeling any emotions, her brain was way too hypoxic to function at that capacity, and her body was physically responding.

    This priest is deliberately playing with your heartstrings because his church objected to the method of death.
    Hi Tweety,

    I don't know that I would agree with that. In 1999, I was in ICU for 4 weeks with pneumonia that got into my bloodstream... I can't say that I ever could tell you when my parents were at my side all the time, or when my friends came in to the room to see me or pray for me. Not now I couldn't anyways... but, the doctors were telling my parents every day and night for the first 7 days in ICU that they didn't think I would live through the night. I went through respiratory failure, and my kidneys and heart they said were shutting down. To me... I think I knew when it happened, but it was like I was locked inside of myself in my own dream of somewhere else... couldn't hear the others or doctors around me... couldn't see them... couldn't communicate with anyone (on the outside)... but, I was sure screaming to them on the inside to help me... (THAT... I do remember). The unconsciousness is a powerful thing. Though I do not remember any of that from the "room's" perspective... heard later that my sister-in-law sat with me and sang to me and saw the tears run down my face as she sang... (though I don't remember it now). I had friends come to me after ICU and tell me that I looked like death... like I was dead... when they were in there with me. All I know was that time itself could go by without my ever realizing how much of it had gone by... yet I was crying out to them all along, though trapped in my own reality. I only remember one moment in ICU of becoming conscious enough that my mom and dad were there and my dad asked me if I knew what day it was... I barely could open my eyes and there on the wall was a day-to-day calendar... Sept 17th... (I had entered ICU on Aug 30... which seemed like yesterday to me at the time)... and I told Dad, "Yeah... today's your birthday." That was it... back unconscious... still have very vague memories of nurses coming to my bedside to care for me and wash and fix my hair. So... who's to say that even Terri... though she couldn't verbalize herself, nor control her physical motor skills... still didn't have her own very vital thoughts and emotions and zest for life... same as I did. I remember knowing in my gut at one point that I might die (my parent's told me later that the doctor would tell that to them standing in the room with me... did I subconsciously hear him??)... but, also remember putting my life in God's hands and telling him that the desire of my heart was to stay here and raise my kids (then 5 and 2). Didn't know which way it would go... but, just knew what my desires were. I'm only 2nd semester in the nursing program now, but have already heard them tell us that hearing is the last to go. I don't know how close (though the doctors told me later that they thought they was going to lose me) to death I was... no tunnels... no bright lights... but, definately felt trapped within myself wondering why no one else "out there" seemed to hear me as I kept saying... "I just want to go home"... but, death was not the home I was referring to... but, this old leaky house that contained my life, my kids, my husband and everything precious to me. (3 months after coming out of 4 weeks in ICU... my husband died of lung cancer). Maybe there's a reason for everything... :angel2:
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Widow - thank you for sharing your experience. I agree, none of us know what an ill or dying person is going through.

    We blindly forge ahead with sharing our ideas though.

    I saw the interview with Michael's girlfriend's brother when he got the news about Terri's death and couldn't help being bugged by it. Why have a camera in your face for such a time? Did he know Terri before she became brain damaged? Why do people get so upset at people seeing Terri after her brain damage? Is she not worthy of being viewed as a human being or should we shut her off in a closet because she doesn't look the way she did? I think that in itself is appalling.

    I was reading People Magazine today while in the park with my son and there was a story about Terri with lots more photos than I've ever seen. There was a high school photo where she weighed over 200 pounds. Should we not show her high school photo because she is overweight? There is a photo of her after her accident looking quite lovely and looking up into Michael's face. I'm wondering how much she deteriorated from the beginning until now - that one photo that has been in the news with the short haircut and the arched eyebrows and the make-up was taken after her accident. She seemed in better shape.

    There are lots of holes in this story.

    steph
  5. by   Roland
    I will give Michael S. one thing he wasn't motivated by money. At www.glennbeck.com there was a drive to raise money to give pledge to Mr. Schiavo if he would give up custody of Terri to her parents. He had well over six million in donations (my $200.00 pledge was in there somewhere). Now even if only 50% of that money actually came in that still well over three million. Alot of people would sell their SO to Fijian cannibals for that kind of money especially if they were in the kind of comprimised state that Terri was in.

    Don't get me wrong I still think he's a bastard that abused his wife. BUT, he is determined. When I see Michael S. I "see" the same smug attitude that I saw in Scott Peterson. Unfortunately, Michael will probably never answer for anything.




    Quote from stevielynn
    Widow - thank you for sharing your experience. I agree, none of us know what an ill or dying person is going through.

    We blindly forge ahead with sharing our ideas though.

    I saw the interview with Michael's girlfriend's brother when he got the news about Terri's death and couldn't help being bugged by it. Why have a camera in your face for such a time? Did he know Terri before she became brain damaged? Why do people get so upset at people seeing Terri after her brain damage? Is she not worthy of being viewed as a human being or should we shut her off in a closet because she doesn't look the way she did? I think that in itself is appalling.

    I was reading People Magazine today while in the park with my son and there was a story about Terri with lots more photos than I've ever seen. There was a high school photo where she weighed over 200 pounds. Should we not show her high school photo because she is overweight? There is a photo of her after her accident looking quite lovely and looking up into Michael's face. I'm wondering how much she deteriorated from the beginning until now - that one photo that has been in the news with the short haircut and the arched eyebrows and the make-up was taken after her accident. She seemed in better shape.

    There are lots of holes in this story.

    steph
  6. by   danu3
    Here are some random thoughts:

    * There is a miscomparison of comparing Terri's situation to a patient who is actively dying from a disease like cancer. When the tube is pulled, the cancer patient is killed by the disease, not starving or hydration usually. Terri is not actively dying (this is mentioned many times by different posters, myself included).

    * There is a miscomparison also of comparing Terri's situation to someone who is dying of dehydration as if someone is dying of thirst in the desert or even someone who is starving in some developing world somewhere. The miscomparasion comes in because Terri has Hospice there to manage the pain while someone who is dying of thirst in a desert or starving in Africa somewhere do not have anything like Hospice to manage the pain. If she is in extreme pain, then the hospice staff is not doing their job (as one poster mentioned already)

    * It is true that the husband did not let the parents by the bedside when Terri died. But it is also true he allowed the parents back a few moments later after Terri died. He could have not allow them back in period. See
    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...n/11281109.htm
    toward the end.

    * Given what is going on, the husband is in a no win situation. If he does not allow the family to see Terri, he is accuse of all kinds of things. If he does allow them to see Terri, they will play with the media emotions. The parent's description has lost all credibility to me when the dad say he worries hospice will try to kill her daughter. Also when the priest describe Terri last few minutes (which is explain quite well by previous posters who are familiar with the dying process) and I guess I mistakenly assume priests are familiar with dying, guess not. So looks like he tried to compromise and let the family in part of the time which did not help.

    * There are deep hatred between both sides and both are suppose to be Christians? If so, this is a sad day for Christians.

    * Both sides' representitive is not trustworthy. The husband's lawyer is a right-to-die avocate (See the book by "Litigation as Spiritual Practice" by Felos). The family spokeman is a right-to-life avocate (Father Frank Pavone). I don't trust their description of Terri at all. When the husband's lawyer say Terri is so peaceful, I don't believe it. When the parent side say Terri is such pain, I don't believe it. I think the truth is probably that Terri looks like she is in some pain but hospice (if they do their job) is managing it as best as they could. Dying is not necessary peaceful all the time.

    * How we respond to this actually tells a lot about us individually as a person.

    * In cases like this, it is not what we hear and see that is important. It is what we don't hear and see that is important as both sides seemed to conviently ignore certain facts and thus distort the truth.

    * People (the public) do not really understand what is PVE. The medical community need some PR in terms of educating what PVE looks like. According to the Wolfson's report on page 32 "...A particularly disarming aspect of persons diagnosed with persistent vegetative state is that they have waking and sleeping cycles. when awake, their eyes are often open, they make noises, they appear to track movement, they respond to deep pain, and appear startled by loud noises. Further, because the autonomic nervous system those brain related functions are not affected, they can often breathe (without a respirator) and swallow (saliva). But there is no purposeful, reproducible, interactive, awareness. There is some controversy within the scientific medical literature regarding the characterization and diagnosis of persons in a persistent vegetative state. Highly competent, scientifically based physicians using recognized measures and standards have deduced, within a high degree of medical certainty, that Theresa is in a persistent vegetative state. This evidence is compelling.

    * Here is a quote from Wolfson's report on pg 33 which shed light on the emotional part of it "...This having been siad, Theresa has a distinct presence about her. Being with Theresa, holding her hand, looking into her eyes and watching how she is lovingly treated by Michael (yes, her husband), her parents and family and the clinical staff at hospice is an emotional and experience. It would be easy to detach from her if she were comatose, asleep with her eyes closed and made no noises. this is the confusing thing for the lay person about persistent vegetative states." The parenthesis is mine.

    * Terri's case raises many questions. Will there be a law requireing all PVE patients be sustain even if it is against family wish? Will there be a law requiremeing all PVE patients be allow to die even if it is against family wish? This is possible given recently there is a case in Texas where the hospital let a child died against the parents wish (See http://www.tomahjournal.com/articles...n/01edlife.txt). This case is probably even more important than Terri's case and it went under the radar.

    * Lots of people do not know this, but the parents did change their minds on certain topics (which is ok). The first topic is that at one point, the parents agree that Terri is in PVE during the early years. Currently, they are disputing whether Terri is in PVE and in certain instances, it even seemed they dispute whether there is even such state as PVE. Ref is in the Wolfson's report, age 36 down at the footnote. The second topic is that the parents did at one point say they will kepp Terri alive at all costs, no matter how bad it is (people who are on the husband side will quote in horrific details of this which is recorded in court document. But people also conviently left out that currently this is actually not accurate. They is certain point they are going to let Terri go. See Wolfson's report page 37 in the footnote section.

    * As for the allegatiion that the husband refuse to let Terri go because of financial interests or that he abused her to such a degree as to cause Terri's hospitalization, according to the Wolfson's report, that has not been sustain.

    * Both the parents and the husband were united to help Terri UNTIL they won the suit. They all hell broke lose.

    To quote the Wolfson's report again :
    Page 37's footnote of the Wolfson's report: "...The Schindlers and the Schiavos are normal, decent people who have found themselves within
    the construct of an exceptional circumstance which none of them, indeed, few reasonable and normal people could have imagined. As a consequence of this circumstance, extensive urban mythology has created toxic clouds, causing the parties and others to behave in ways that may not, in the order of things, serve the best interests of the ward..." Bold is mine.


    -Dan
  7. by   danu3
    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...n/11281109.htm
    Take a look the end of the article about the hospice workers, it is touching.

    -Dan
  8. by   danu3
    Quote from danu3
    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...n/11281109.htm
    Take a look the end of the article about the hospice workers, it is touching.

    -Dan
    Sorry about this link, it looks like you have to register first.

    Here is a round about way of getting in without registering (don't know how long it will last).

    Go to goole and search on "Hush prevailed in Schiavo room at hospice" and then clink on the newspaper icon close to the top where you see the same title.

    -Dan
  9. by   Roland
    So what makes one Guardian Ad Litem's report so authoritative I actually served as a GAL the very year that I graduated from high school in an alleged sexual abuse case (actually I quit three weeks into the project because I couldn't handle all of the issues involved but that's not the point). At least in my case the GAL was heavily orientated towards the perspective of social services and not the parents. In any case that same report called for therapy and swallowing tests for Mrs Schiavo which Mr. Schiavo would not allow as indicated in this statement by Jeb Bush:


    TALLAHASSEE--"I appreciate Dr. Wolfson's time and effort in this endeavor. I also respect the tremendous challenge of preparing an accurate, independent and thorough review of nearly 10 years of information in only 30 days. That Dr. Wolfson recognizes the continued need for an independent third party Guardian Ad Litem is encouraging, as is his recommendation that Mrs. Schiavo undergo swallowing tests and therapy. Based on this third party analysis, I am hopeful that Mr. Schiavo and his attorney will no longer prevent this vital testing from taking place. This would be a first step in the fresh, clean-hands start that Dr. Wolfson recommended at the end of his report.

    There's one other aspect of this case which is unusual. The parents, nurses ect. were not even allowed to try to give Terri liquid or food by mouth. She didn't drool so she had at least some ability to swallow. Its one thing to take out a feeding tube and quite another to not even allow ice chips orally.

    Also, I have yet to hear a single coherent explanation of the bone scan which showed a history of multiple previous trauma's. Mrs. Schiavo was not an athlete and yet had multiple, healed previous fractures. Also, the hospital did not conclude that she had an eating disorder after her collaspe. Rather, they were unable to determine the cause of her injuries. Because her serum potassium levels were somewhat low at discharge this was proferred as a possible explanation for her condition (note however that her cardiac enzymes were not elevated). Dr. Michael Baden is on record as saying that he does not think it likely that electrolyte imbalance caused her to have a cardiac arrest. Note also that Mrs. Schiavo had not lost significant weight in the year before her collaspe. Her weight loss had occured about three years before that time.

    Why in this age of rampent spousal abuse does everyone seem so unwilling to believe that Michael Schiavo may have abused his wife? All I'm asking for is an investigation (which never occured at the time despite the fact that the paramedics report indicated that the circumstances warranted such an investitgation). Let's interview the paramedics who were on the scene. Let's take depositions from friends and families who knew Terri at the time of her collaspe. Let's look at her previous medical records to determine if there was evidence of an eating disorder or spousal abuse. Let's get an independent autopsy, one done by a forensic pathologist who doesn't have so many local ties with the vested interests that go with such ties. Let's re-examine the testimony of nurses Heidi Law and Karla Ayer who say that they witnessed abuse by Michael Schiavo while Mrs. Schiavo was in LTC (for example Mrs. Ayer says that she was fired for filing a police report after she discovered Michael trying to kill his wife with an insulin injection. Can this report be located?). Judge Greer wasn't interested in hearing any of these things because he said it was relevent to Terri's situation (and the prosecutor said that the statute of limitations had run out on any crimes in any case). Well now Terri is dead and there is not statute of limitations on murder. Remember, that Michael Schiavo now has another SO with two kids. This isn't a moot point since those who abuse seldom do it in only one case. Are all of you so sure of his innocence that you are willing to bet the lives of his current family?




    Quote from danu3
    http://<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /...n/11281109.htm
    Take a look the end of the article about the hospice workers, it is touching.

    -Dan
    Last edit by Roland on Apr 1, '05
  10. by   danu3
    Quote from Roland
    So what makes one Guardian Ad Litem's report so authoritative I actually served as a GAL the very year that I graduated from high school in an alleged sexual abuse case (actually I quit three weeks into the project because I couldn't handle all of the issues involved but that's not the point). At least in my case the GAL was heavily orientated towards the perspective of social services and not the parents.
    There is a very big difference between you serving as GAL and the Wolfson's report. One, Dr. Wolfson is a doctor and an attorney. Second, I have no idea what kind of report you have to write when you serve as a GAL, is it the same high quality as this report? Third, his report is the most neutral one that I've seen. Fourth, he tried to be fair if you read his report and he tried to be understanding of both sides. Fifth, he almost got both parties to agree but it fell apart toward the end. Sixth, this is probably the least judgemental report I've seen.

    I am quoting the Wolfson's report because this is one of the source document which other people quote (from both side). My experience is if the source document is easily available, read it yourself and forget what other people say it say.

    In any case that same report called for therapy and swallowing tests for Mrs Schiavo which Mr. Schiavo would not allow as indicated in this statement by Jeb Bush
    This is a classic misquote. Read the report yourself. If you can't get it, I can show you how to get it.

    Hold it, here it is on page 36, I'll save you the troubel.

    "Is there feasibility and value in swallowing tests and swallowing therapy given the totality of circumstances?

    a. Yes. There is feasibility and value in swallowing tests and swallowing therapy being administered if the parties agree in advance as to how the results of these tests will be used with respect to the decision about Theresa's future. If the parties do not agree in advance as to how the tests will be used, then the court must be prepared to once again make a final judgement on the matter. Given the history of the case, this wuold not, in and of itself, assure a resolution, and is not, therefore, deemed either feasible or of value to Theresa Schiavo without prior agreement.'

    It looks like Jeb Bush just read the conditional "Yes" part. The whole thing say it has only value if both parties agree ahead of time as to how the results are use in terms of making decisions. Given the history, it is not of any value because both parties will not agree. So the answer is really a "No".

    -Dan
  11. by   danu3
    Quote from Roland

    There's one other aspect of this case which is unusual. The parents, nurses ect. were not even allowed to try to give Terri liquid or food by mouth. She didn't drool so she had at least some ability to swallow. Its one thing to take out a feeding tube and quite another to not even allow ice chips orally.
    Please cite your source here so I can personally take a look. I know it is a pain, if you can't find it, it is ok. But I would really like to look at it myself.


    Also, I have yet to hear a single coherent explanation of the bone scan which showed a history of multiple previous trauma's. Mrs. Schiavo was not an athlete and yet had multiple, healed previous fractures. Also, the hospital did not conclude that she had an eating disorder after her collaspe. Rather, they were unable to determine the cause of her injuries. Because her serum potassium levels were somewhat low at discharge this was proferred as a possible explanation for her condition (note however that her cardiac enzymes were not elevated). Dr. Michael Baden is on record as saying that he does not think it likely that electrolyte imbalance caused her to have a cardiac arrest. Note also that Mrs. Schiavo had not lost significant weight in the year before her collaspe. Her weight loss had occured about three years before that time.
    I thought there is a post here that talk about this. Anyone remember it?

    Ok, according to the Wolfson's report again (I keep citing it because I try to be open to where my primary source of information are and you can evaluate it on your own and make your own conclusion), page 11, the eating disorder is really an educated guess base on the fact that she has "agressive weight loss, diet control, and excessive hydration" according to the medical record. About the weight loss, this is in contradiction about some people say she did not lost significant weight in the year before her collaspe. The cause of the cardiac arrest is due to the huge potasium reductiion in her body in which we all know will affect her electrolyte. Dr Baden can have his professional opinion, but it looks like other doctor may disagree. Which doctor you believe depends on which side you are on.


    Why in this age of rampent spousal abuse does everyone seem so unwilling to believe that Michael Schiavo may have abused his wife? All I'm asking for is an investigation (which never occured at the time despite the fact that the paramedics report indicated that the circumstances warranted such an investitgation).
    They have investigated it and no charges are pressed. Again the Wolfson's report mentioned it also.


    Well now Terri is dead and there is not statute of limitations on murder. Remember, that Michael Schiavo now has another SO with two kids. This isn't a moot point since those who abuse seldom do it in only one case. Are all of you so sure of his innocence that you are willing to bet the lives of his current family?
    Well, it is possible her husband did abuse Terri, but isn't it possible that he did not? Why insist on him abusing his wife? Remember you have the extremes on both sides, at least for me, I don't trust both sides and both sides have a tendency to distort things. Like you said, if Terry's husband did abuse her and these kind of people will probably repeat. Let's wait and see. I persoanlly do not know enough about his innocent or guilt. But I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point. Are you sure that he is guilty and willing to put a potentially innocent man through a few more years of legal torture? Remember there are deep hatred between both sides and I am not going to be surprised if the family just distorted things (as they are extremely desperate) to accuse the husband.

    -Dan
  12. by   James Huffman
    Quote from fab4fan
    Since you have provided no links to prove your statements about Michael, then I am not going to bother to do so, either. Why should you demand of others what you fail to do yourself?
    1. Actually, I have -- in some detail -- provided evidence and eyewitness accounts about the statements I've made about Michael Schiavo. You are welcome to search those, should you be so inclined.

    2. And, of course, you are the one making these charges, saying, for instance, that I am "demonizing Michael Schindler." The one making the charges is the one responsible for backing up those statements, not the one who questions the charges. Does this mean, as I suspect, that you have no evidence, and are merely making unfounded charges?

    3. I am also suspicious of the veracity of charges made by someone who can't even get the names straight of those being spoken about. Schindler and Michael Schiavo are not exactly minor participants in this discussion.

    4. Are you saying by this also that your slanders against the pro-life community (that they are behind death threats) are unfounded and incorrect?

    Jim Huffman, RN
  13. by   Tweety
    Widow2RN, thanks for sharing your story. I'm not sure your story and Benedikta story of vomitting and becoming dehydrated compares well to a person taking their final breaths. But as no one has come back to tell us what it's truly like.

    To answer your question whose to say that Terri wasn't screaming out in her final breaths during the dying process for help, is indeed a frightning thing to consider. I still think that a person is way to hypoxic for the brain to function at that capacity, but again, I'm no expert.

    If people think she was a living, feeling person, then I have to wonder what was she saying during those 15 years to herself. Was she depressed, sad, happy. Did she ever have a headache, stomachache. Was she thinking "please let me live" as some people want to project on her. Or after 15 years, was she tired of it all. I hope she doesn't come back to haunt those who kept her alive 15 years. I know I would.
    Again, though we can only project our own feelings and experiences, and make our judgements from there. (Which is what this preist was doing, staring at her in an hour, he projected his own experiences and feelings onto her. Which is odd, as a man of faith, sounds like he has some fear of death. I agree with Fab4, he should have said something to the staff so they could have helped her. I hope at least he was comforting her fear, talking to her, praying with her, rather than just staring into her face.)
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 1, '05

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